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'House of Horrors' let to family is shut down by local council

A local council has closed down what it describes as a ‘House of Horrors’ let to a family despite being in a dangerous and dilapidated conditions. 

Newham council visited the three bedroom property last month and found evidence of it being partially gutted for renovation works while still being rented out for £700 a month to a couple with two children living on the ground floor.

During the inspection of the property officers found hot water from a bath in the tiny kitchen being used to clean crockery in the kitchen sink, exposed electrical wiring, walls stripped back the brick work and missing ceilings in unoccupied upstairs bedrooms.

They also found chimney breasts removed in rooms occupied by the family downstairs, but no supporting steels had been put in place and a fridge freezer in use in the back garden.

The council issued a prohibition notice to the landlord, banning anyone from living inside the house until it is made safe.

“This was truly a House of Horrors. It was unsanitary and unsafe. The ceilings could have collapsed at any time, the wiring could have sparked a fire, but this landlord saw no problem putting this young couple and their children in grave danger and charging them for it” says a council spokesman.

The landlord - who did not have a licence, despite the council’s licensing regime - will now be prosecuted under the Housing Act 2004 for failing to have a licence and for poor management of the property. The authority also says if he allows anyone to live in the property before it is declared safe by the council’s building control team he could also face prosecution with an unlimited fine.

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